With some strong positioning and hard work, independent consulting can support a wonderful, rich lifestyle with freedom to take care of your family and friends. After forming your legal entity, use marketing principles to position yourself authentically in the market. This means understanding your strengths and abilities and communicating them to your target market. In landing gigs at Medtronic, 3M, Smiths Medical and other global firms, I’ve learned some lessons that may help Talencio’s friends learn how to thrive in the gig economy and build their consulting practice.

1. Communicate your availability for engagements and services to your strongest advocates. They are the most likely to engage you and refer you to people who will engage you. My first engagement was a referral from a close friend

2. Identify your target market. What industries and roles are likely to need the services you’re offering?

3. Build your brand to appeal to your target market. Identify traits and strengths that power your brand. Ensure your LinkedIn photo and content reflects your brand. Incorporate your StrengthsFinder results into your LinkedIn profile.Identify specific behaviors that will make people believe you will make them look good, deliver strong results, and be easy to work with. Consistently apply those behaviors.

4. Pricing your consulting services requires a lot of research. The ranges for some marketing services are rather firm in the market such as project management and marketing communications. Services that depend on a strategic skillset or specialized industry knowledge can demand a higher rate. Sell your value hard to get the highest rate.

5. Consulting sales are made through networking. Meet ten people per week, whether they are new contacts or old friends who may help you. Join industry trade groups and attend their meetings. Do pro bono work and join a non-profit Board of Directors.

6. Stay current in your field by reading and attending conferences and seminars.

7. Study the consulting agency environment and be open to subcontracting. Identify leading talent agencies, such as Talencio, and meet their leaders. Refer friends to the agencies to build the network.

8. Invest time between engagements in studying specific areas of interest and become a thought leader in underserved specialty areas where you can capture more engagements. For example, I’m studying competitive strategy, market assessments and raising capital, which is leading to many opportunities to teach courses and publish articles.

The variety of work and clients inherent in independent consulting can build your skillset, network, business understanding and influence rapidly. With the right marketing and sales approach, you can be successful at landing independent consulting gigs and crafting your ideal lifestyle.

Written by: Mary MacCarthy, MBA. Mary is an independent marketing consultant located in St. Paul, Minnesota. Find her on LinkedIn or contact her via email.

About Talencio: We help the Health Technology community make progress by putting the right people in the right place to solve problems and identify opportunities to move healthcare forward. To learn more about career opportunities in health technology, or to hear how other companies have partnered with Talencio to tap into our skilled professional talent pool, contact us at 612.703.4236 or email. Talencio has been the preferred provider of vetted, accomplished professionals to the Health Technology Community for over 9 years.

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